State health and safety officials in Minnesota are taking extra steps to ensure that all bars and restaurants are safe for customers and employees. Compliance teams from the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety (DPS), Health (MDH), Labor and Industry (DLI) and Agriculture (MDA) have visited more than 150 establishments in several communities over the past two weekends. The inspectors noted that, in some cases, companies were having difficulty following the requirements of the guide, but customers were not doing their part to protect worker safety and public health. An outbreak in a bar can cause a community outbreak by spreading it from customers to their families, co-workers and other members of the community.
More than 40 bars and restaurants have contacted the state for guidance on health and safety following the announcement of increased compliance initiatives. Compliance teams that recently visited more than 150 bars and restaurants in several communities found that most establishments are working to comply with COVID-19 executive orders. During those visits, authorities said that most bars and restaurants are working to comply with COVID-19 executive orders and the required guidelines designed to reduce the spread of the disease and keep Minnesotans safe. This is something that the Minnesota hotel industry urged, noting that more restrictions would affect all bars and restaurants, whether or not they were complying with safety and health precautions.
The commissioner also said that MDH is talking with other states in the country to assess the impact that bar and restaurant policies have had on cases of COVID-19. MDH has received more than 800 complaints about violations of executive orders in restaurants and bars regulated by MDH and has referred more than 400 complaints to delegated agencies since July 13. Health and safety officials in Minnesota are finding that most of the state's bars and restaurants are doing a good job following safeguards and guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Customers who refuse to wear masks and ignore social distancing guidelines by moving tables and chairs to accommodate larger groups jeopardize the operations of these businesses. When bars and restaurants are found not to comply with the regulations, state officials work to educate them, enforce them and, if necessary, push them to enforce them to adopt enforcement measures. The Minnesota Department of Health has developed a checklist for customers to help them understand what measures a bar or restaurant is taking to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus.
Customers who want to know about safety protocols enforced by a bar or restaurant in Minnesota should look for signs posted at entrances or ask staff members about their policies. It is important for customers to be aware of any changes in regulations or guidelines so they can make informed decisions about where they choose to dine or drink. Customers should also be aware of their own responsibility when it comes to following safety protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, avoiding large groups, etc. The Minnesota Department of Health has provided guidance on how businesses can protect their customers from COVID-19 transmission.
Businesses should ensure that they have adequate ventilation systems in place, provide hand sanitizer stations throughout their premises, limit capacity as per regulations, ensure social distancing between tables/chairs/booths/etc., require staff members to wear masks at all times, provide contactless payment options where possible, regularly clean surfaces with disinfectant solutions, etc. It is important for customers to be aware of their own responsibility when it comes to following safety protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, avoiding large groups etc., as well as any changes in regulations or guidelines so they can make informed decisions about where they choose to dine or drink. By following these guidelines customers can help protect themselves from COVID-19 transmission while also helping businesses stay open safely.